Following the crash of the UK-201 and the death of her father, Vicki joined the Doctor, Ian and Barbara in the TARDIS to explore the universe. She encouraged the Doctor to help Ian and Barbara return to their own time, after which they travelled with Steven, with whom she formed a close friendship.
In ancient Troy, Vicki decided to leave the Doctor and Steven to marry Troilus, taking the name Cressida. She was briefly reunited with the Doctor in his eighth incarnation and recorded her adventures in her memoirs.
Vicki was born on Earth (TV: The Rescue) and lived at Liddell Towers on the South Circular Road in New London. Whilst her mother wanted to call her "Tanni", her father, Lt-Commdr Newton Pallister (AUDIO: The Crash of the UK-201) of the Merchant Space Marine, (PROSE: The Eleventh Tiger) preferred "Vicki". (PROSE: Byzantium!) Whilst one account claimed that she was born in the 24th century, (PROSE: The Chase) most agreed that she was born in the 25th (TV: The Rescue; PROSE: The Time Meddler) and that she was a teenager in 2493, placing her date of birth between 2474 and 2480. (TV: The Rescue)
As a girl, Vicki enjoyed looking at the stars at night, although they could hardly be seen from New London, (PROSE: Byzantium!) and counted aliens among some of her best friends. (PROSE: The Empire of Glass) She lived near a castle where she and her friends discovered a buried ring in a nearby field. They joked that if they pulled the ring, "something awful" would come out of the castle. (TV: The Chase) When she was young, she had a pony named Saracen. (PROSE: The Plotters) She once visited the Beatles' memorial theatre in Liverpool. (TV: The Chase)
As a student of a 25th century school system, she studied medicine one hour a week. (TV: The Web Planet) She also studied 20th century history, (AUDIO: The Suffering) astronomy (AUDIO: Starborn) and temporal paradoxes. (PROSE: The Schoolboy's Story) She particularly loved the story of the 23rd century rebels whose sacrifice brought about the end of the totalitarian regime of Unitaria. (AUDIO: Daybreak) By the age of ten, she had obtained certificates in medicine, physics, computers, chemistry and other disciplines. (TV: The Web Planet) She was also skilled at cutting hair. (TV: Galaxy 4; AUDIO: The Suffering)
Vicki's mother died when she was eleven. (PROSE: Byzantium!) Her father took a job in a new colony on the planet Astra and left Earth with Vicki in 2493 aboard the UK-201. They crash-landed on Dido, (TV: The Rescue) with most accounts stating that the crash occurred not long after setting off (TV: The Rescue, AUDIO: The Crash of the UK-201) and one claiming that it was eight years later. (PROSE: The Rescue) The Didoans and the survivors of the crash, aside from Vicki, were murdered by Bennett. Stranded and alone with Bennett, Vicki befriended a sand beast that she named Sandy. (TV: The Rescue)
Travels in the TARDIS
Meeting the Doctor
Vicki first met the First Doctor when he landed on Dido with Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, the last of whom shot Sandy with a flare gun when she believed it to be a threat to Vicki. It took effort on the part of Vicki to forgive Barbara for this. With the help of the time travellers, she learnt the truth about Bennett and, after he died, she joined them in the TARDIS. (TV: The Rescue)
With Ian and Barbara
Vicki's first adventure in the TARDIS was to the year 64, where they stayed at a Roman villa for a month after its caretaker, Lucius, died in Vicki's and the Doctor's arms following a lion attack. (PROSE: Romans Cutaway) They later visited Byzantium (PROSE: Byzantium!) and Rome, where they met Nero. She unwittingly saved Barbara from being poisoned by Poppaea and told off the Doctor for insisting that she could not change history when it had been him to give Nero the idea of the Great Fire of Rome. (TV: The Romans)
After leaving Rome, they landed in 20th century London where Violet told her not to enter the TARDIS as it would lead to her death. However, they learnt the message had been from Stella who wished to avoid her own death. (AUDIO: Starborn) They went on to visit China (PROSE: The Eleventh Tiger) and Vortis, (TV: The Web Planet) adventures that Jospa inserted himself into by manipulating the travellers' memories. They became aware of this and defeated him on the Arunde homeworld. (AUDIO: The Fifth Traveller)
The TARDIS landed on Platform Five, (AUDIO: The Rocket Men) Lumion (AUDIO: The Dark Planet) and London in 1963 (AUDIO: 1963) and 1868 where they again encountered the Zarbi before Vicki, Ian and Barbara were kidnapped by Adam Mitchell. (COMIC: Unnatural Selection) They were rescued by the first eleven numbered incarnations of the Doctor. (COMIC: Endgame) In 1190s Palestine, Vicki disguised herself as a boy and called herself "Victor" when visiting Richard the Lionheart's palace with the Doctor, (TV: The Crusade) and helped arm the Xerons on Xeros, starting a revolution. (TV: The Space Museum) In 1605 London, she resurrected the Victor disguise and had to fight off the advances of James I. (PROSE: The Plotters)
Vicki experienced the shared dreaming of the people of Hisk and saw Bennett. She felt responsible for the death of a market trader who took her place in a dreaming machine. (AUDIO: The Sleeping City) She worked in administration on one planet, where she used her knowledge of programming to undo a memory alteration program, (AUDIO: The Unwinding World) and visited Unitaria where she met her childhood heroes. She also learnt the other side of the story when she was interrogated by the Governor of the republic who she knew as the Iron Judge. She realised the truth of the situation, and realised that she was the reason why history turned out the way it did. She learnt that she should never meet her heroes. (AUDIO: Daybreak) The travellers celebrated Christmas in 1963 (PROSE: All I Want for Christmas) and 2004 (PROSE: Every Day) and, in 1400, Vicki befriended Queen Isabella. (AUDIO: The Doctor's Tale)
The TARDIS crew visited a number of locations across time and space whilst fleeing from the Daleks, including the Festival of Ghana where Vicki was accidentally left behind. She stowed away aboard the Dalek time machine and was reunited with her friends on Mechanus where they met Steven Taylor. Vicki encouraged the Doctor to help Ian and Barbara return to the their own time in the Dalek ship and told him that she would stay, having no reason to go with them. (TV: The Chase)
When Vicki and the Doctor returned to the TARDIS, they found that Steven had stowed away aboard and began their travels with him, first travelling to 1066 Northumbria where they discovered a TARDIS belonging to the Monk. (TV: The Time Meddler) They landed on a planet where they were scared away by Xenith (COMIC: Are You Listening?) and 1912 London where Vicki fell under the influence of a misandristic alien at a suffragette rally. (AUDIO: The Suffering) In the same city in 1814, she befriended Jane Austen and defeated the Cinder, unaware that a tiny part of it survived in her eye. (AUDIO: Frostfire) She and Steven met the Fifth Doctor after the Monk meddled with the Doctor's lives. (AUDIO: The Secret History)
The TARDIS landed in the attic of 10 Downing Street where they faced a time fungus. (AUDIO: Upstairs) Vicki used her statistic knowledge to search for a correlation between hull breaches and eruptions on Ceres (AUDIO: The Bounty of Ceres) and spent several months in Spain where she was almost killed by the Spanish Inquisition. (PROSE: Managra) Not long after, she met William Shakespeare. (PROSE: The Empire of Glass)
In Winter, Vicki once again encountered the Daleks and was set to work transferring young Dalek mutants into finished casings and told Gaius Majorian of how she first met them on Aridius. (AUDIO: The Dalek Occupation of Winter) The crew visited T19 as it was being terraformed (AUDIO: An Ideal World) and the University of Cambridge where they tracked down Isaiah Hardy. (AUDIO: Entanglement) She changed time to prevent the UK-201 from crashing, creating a new timeline which Steven helped her undo. (AUDIO: The Crash of the UK-201)
The Doctor intended to take Steven and Vicki to the Olympic Games in 2784 but ended up landing in Florence in 1514 where they met Pope Leo X, to whom she recited poetry. (AUDIO: The Ravelli Conspiracy) They also visited the French Revolution, (AUDIO: Fields of Terror) the Etherlands, (AUDIO: Etheria) a space cannon, (PROSE: Corridors of Power) Indiana (PROSE: The Schoolboy's Story) and Entropica. (AUDIO: Across the Darkened City)
At the Charles University in Prague, Vicki was sent to the TARDIS by the Doctor to protect her from Jane Childress. (PROSE: The Long Step Backward) She helped defeat a possessed Snowy Boots in New York City (PROSE: Snowman in Manhattan) and waited for Steven on the Phobos Station after he crashed into Mars. (PROSE: Mars) The TARDIS crew stopped a war between humans and the Kel-T over mining rights on Ca-Mon Green (PROSE: The Power Supply) and locked themselves out of the TARDIS in 1762. (AUDIO: The Founding Fathers)
On a doomed planet, Vicki, the Doctor and Steven fought the Drahvins. (TV: Galaxy 4) They were put to sleep by the Doctor to feed a Lapino, dreaming that they were Cinderella and her prince. They remembered little about it after waking up. (PROSE: Planet of the Bunnoids) According to one account, the Doctor promised Vicki and Steven that he would take them to 1960s London where they would belong. (PROSE: The Myth Makers)
In Troy circa 1200 BC, Vicki was given the name "Cressida" by King Priam and met his son, Troilus. The pair fell in love and Vicki told the Doctor that she was going to stay. Leaving the TARDIS, she found Troilus and told him that, with Aeneas, they could build another Troy following the Trojan War. (TV: The Myth Makers) The Doctor had previously been aware that she would leave the TARDIS and become Cressida. (PROSE: Byzantium!) Their tale was later written as a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer and as a play by William Shakespeare.
Vicki and Troilus wandered with the Trojans in search of a place to settle following the fall of their city. In Asia Minor, a herdsman informed Vicki and Troilus of his sighting of the TARDIS, the Eighth Doctor, Charlotte Pollard and William Shakespeare, making Vicki suspect that a robot of the younger First Doctor had come. The Trojans attacked them and Vicki attempted to find the wires controlling the Doctor, eventually realising her mistake and being told the truth. She said farewell to the Doctor and decided that they would settle in Great Britain per Shakespeare's advice. (PROSE: Apocrypha Bipedium)
Vicki struggled to acclimatise to life in an era that seemed so primitive to her with people who seemed hostile, although Troilus stood by her. They ended up settling down in Carthage where, whilst weeping, she found amongst her tears a cinder from the phoenix she encountered in 1814. She kept it in a burning oil lamp in the basement of a temple and learnt that it had a telepathic connection to her. She would often talk to it as she felt that they were both alone.
Vicki and Troilus had two children, whom she described as "young heroes". Later in life, she decided to write memoirs of her travels with the Doctor, although she had to pay scribes as they had a monopoly on papyrus. She dictated the story of the phoenix in 1164 BC. (AUDIO: Frostfire)
In an alternate timeline in which Vicki was able to prevent the UK-201's crash on Dido, she married Jeran Dalton who comforted her after her father's death in a meteor shower. The couple had two daughters: Carla, a medic who died in a rebel attack, and Maria, a governor who made peace with said rebels. Jeran died after attending a conference attempting to deal with an outbreak of space plague. Vicki lived to the age of 170, when she suffered from an apparent stroke in a care home after being attacked by temporal creatures.
At the moment of her death, she discovered that she had the ability to modify her timeline and travelled back to prevent Jeran's and Carla's deaths. This meant that the rebellion grew and Maria was too involved in a refugee crisis to become governor and negotiate peace, allowing the rebels to achieve victory. Vicki and her family became refugees themselves.
She travelled back again to save her father, but he blamed her for his post-traumatic stress due to her not warning his colleagues. She did not meet Jeran and spent more than eight years alone, during which Newton refused to speak to her.
Wanting her family back, Vicki modified the timeline again and let her father die. However, without a perfect repeat of events, her marriage with Jeran went differently. They had a son, Carl, instead of Carla, and Maria had different hair and eyes. She was horrified at the thought of never seeing her two original daughters again and decided to try and escape the altered timeline.
With Steven's intervention, Vicki returned to the UK-201 and relived the events there as perfectly as she could remember them. The ship crashed and the other survivors left her on the ship as they went to contact the Didoans, where they were murdered by Bennett. The old timeline was restored and Vicki returned to travelling in time with the Doctor and Steven, though she could still remember her different lives and chose to preserve these memories. (AUDIO: The Crash of the UK-201)
Vicki described herself as a "plucky orphan" and, generally, a happy person. (AUDIO: The Suffering) She was keen for adventure and was hugely excited when she met Nero, but got bored when staying in one place for too long. (TV: The Romans) She was intelligent and knowledgeable on a range of subjects, but did not know about the finer points of Earth's past; she did not know the Beatles' music and called 1960s New York City "ancient". (TV: The Chase) She was also unaware of the nature and location of the Battle of Trafalgar (PROSE: The Plotters) and whether or not pandas and aeroplanes existed in China in 1863. (PROSE: The Eleventh Tiger).
Her youth and willingness to try anything enabled her to save the travellers from danger by inciting the Xeron rebels to action at the Space Museum. Using her considerable analytical and technical skills, Vicki reprogrammed the Morok armoury's computer to allow the rebels access to the weaponry stored there, enabling them to fight. (TV: The Space Museum) The Doctor considered her to be "rather wilful". (AUDIO: The Doctor's Tale)
Despite her bravado, Vicki was terrified of heights. While they escaped from the Mechonoid City, the Doctor had to blindfold her. The travellers, with Steven Taylor's assistance, then had to lower her the fifteen hundred feet by rope. (TV: The Chase)
Whether teasing, or merely undiplomatic, Vicki had a knack of saying the wrong thing to Barbara, despite their close relationship. Right off, she said that Barbara Wright must be "about five hundred and fifty years old" as she came from 1963. (TV: The Rescue) On Vortis, Vicki said aspirin tablets were old fashioned – until she saw some in the Doctor's first aid kit, she had never heard of them. She also offended Barbara by responding to her statement that the main subjects taught at her school were the 3 R's by asking if Barbara's school had been a nursery. (TV: The Web Planet)
Vicki had short, cropped fair hair and huge, dark eyes. She had fine, high eyebrows which gave her an air of alert surprise, a pale, oval face that was almost fragile, a Norman nose and a small mouth that suggested Joan of Arc. (PROSE: The Rescue, Doctor Who and the Crusaders, Galaxy Four)
Behind the scenes
- The production team had originally considered the older and more independent Jenny (originally named Saida) from The Dalek Invasion of Earth as Susan Foreman's replacement in the cast.
- Originally, Vicki had the more futuristic-sounding name Tanni. Before settling on Vicki, the production team thought of several other possible names, including Valerie, Millie, and Lukki. Earlier drafts of The Rescue bore the working title Doctor Who and Tanni.
- A letter shown on the Mounting The Rescue documentary included with the DVD release of The Rescue says that two girls from Liverpool — Maureen O'Brien and Denise Upson — were tested for the role of Vicki on Monday, 14 September 1964.
- The Past Doctors Adventure novel Byzantium! revealed Vicki's previously unknown surname, Pallister, which was never mentioned on-screen in any televised episodes. This was reinforced in another novel, The Eleventh Tiger, in which Vicki thinks about Lieutenant Commander Pallister, her father. Big Finish Productions followed suit with the use of Pallister. The Early Adventures audio story, The Crash of the UK-201, gives Vicki's father's full name as Newton Pallister. Vicki also gives her full name in Daybreak from The Companion Chronicles.
- Vicki is one of several human characters featured in the series whose last names were never revealed on-screen. Others include Ace, Polly and Mel, though, like Vicki, spin-off media provided last names.
- The documentary Mounting The Rescue revealed that the producers wanted Maureen O'Brien to dye her hair black to make her resemble Susan more. Maureen refused, and instead suggested the alternative of getting Carole Ann Ford back.
- In the real world, the story of Troilus and Cressida is a tragedy: they pledge everlasting love, but when she is given up to the Greeks as a hostage, she falls in love with Diomedes and is blamed as a traitor and a cheater. In The Myth Makers, Steven Taylor uses the name Diomedes.
- She was originally going to appear in The Daleks' Master Plan and was going to be killed off instead of Katarina.